song of myself


(written in 2004)

It will be a hot time in the old town tonight. An art walk, a film festival, live music all over town. What kind of cow town is this? And here I sit on the hill after a hard day’s work, banging out yet another Shard before roaring off to band practice with Moving Mountains. This is not a good town to get old in, but it’s a great place to stay young.

When I first pulled into Rodeo Town in a U-Haul on a hot summer night 30 years ago, there were five bands playing live music in five bars around a single square block. I cut through an alley teeming with people, and by the time I reached the far end, I was stoned out of my head. I stood on the sidewalk and thought: I can live here.

Now, many years later, I’m still here, galloping along on a swayback pony blowing a tin bugle and waving a wooden sword in the air. I’m wearing a pike helmet and a rusty armored vest, purple tights and green cowboy boots. I live in a cottage with a blind dog that I fished out of the pound years ago, and I drive a car with a bent antenna, a cracked windshield and a bad transmission. On good days I
yodel at the top of my lungs.

I’ve thrown together a claptrap reality, and I’ve moved in lock, stock and barrel. I’ve done what Jim Morrison was trying to do before he slipped quietly beneath the surface in a bathtub full of water.

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